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High End Luxury Cars

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  • boo20boo20 Posts: 85
    By the way if I wanted a decent looking car that was reliable I would choose Acura over Lexus any day of the week. Nearly as reliable and their cars look like their designers really care about the looks of the vehicle.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I went from Acura (great cars, great reliability) to Lexus. Reasons - Lexi are made better, ride better, ownership experience is better and customer service is untouchable). No way do I go back to Acura unless financial concerns cause me to or they match Lexus standards.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,593
    Like ljflx I too owned Acura before Lexus, two of the former to be exact. Unless their styling improves considerably, even though they are a relative value, no way I'd go back to one or take one over the Lexus. I do not think the upscale Honda even belongs on this board.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    And you both the e and the LS if I remember correctly. Lex and MB are at the top for me. Acura is great but they are not in this league.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,593
    10-4 good buddy.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Did you ever go to that MB event that was a $750 fee or something like that?

    By the way that I-drive had disaster written all over it before the car ever made it to the showroom.
     
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Acuras are FWD. Can't handle high hp (Acura TL trans woes are legendary).
    LS400 is superior to any Acura built at this time.
  • i_drivei_drive Posts: 35
    hello-
    my wife has a Lexus GX470, and I have a '02 S430, and a '03 SL55 AMG. we love our cars, but my wife wants an S-Class too. i tried to convince her to get a BMW or Audi, but she's stuck to the S430. she loves the S-Class.

    i am thinking about surprising her on her birthday (comming soon in mid-November); having the car out on the driveway. alas; she loves good deals, and won't be happy if i tell her how much i actually paid for it. so, i am wondering if any of you who have car-shopped for an S-Class, (OR BMW 745i) found a REALLY good price if i lease? I live in San Diego, California. this morning, i found an ad in the newspaper from Hoehn Motors: 2003 NEW Mercedes S430. $899/month, $4,671 due at lease signing. nicely equiped (does that mean it's stripped?). 5 to choose from. Hohen Motors, Car Country Carlsbad.

    i don't know if that's a good deal.
    if any of you live in S. California and know of a really good deal on a new '03 S430, please tell.
    thanks alot!
  • boo20boo20 Posts: 85
    bz4: in my mind the presence of front wheel drive on the Acura is an argument FOR and not against it compared to the Lexus. As I want AWD in my winter car the Lexus is out (even if liked everything else about it--which I don't). The Acura is at least a reasonable second choice by virtue of its FWD, aesthetics and overall value for the money. If I couldn't afford an MB I would definately go with Acura rather than Lexus. When we are talking about cars costing over 60 K value isn't really in the equation at all. Nobody buys an LS430 or S class because of "value". They are just not "worth" it on an incremental cost basis. If you can comfortably afford these cars then cost should be considered essentially to be a 'burnt offering.'

    i_drive: I'm in the market for an '04 S class. Unfortunately there are plenty of unsold '03s laying around in dealer inventories (here in the midwest) including AWD models. Dealers are anxious to move these out before the '04s come out at the end of October so I'm certain you can get a great deal on them in the next few weeks. I saw an S430 with MSRP of 78 K on which you could probably have picked up at least a 5 K discount. That's a pretty good deal on this incredible car. Go for it.

    Unfortunately for me this probably means no deals off list price for the '04s. Maybe I'll go for one of the leftover 03s myself.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    I forget about you guys who live in the snowbelt.
    Here in SC, the only advantage to FWD is extra interior space.
    AWD and four wheel drive are just things that decrease gas mileage and hurt ride quality.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    You said "When we are talking about cars costing over 60 K value isn't really in the equation at all." Well, this might be true for SOME buyers, but I hardly believe that its true for all buyers in that price range. If an extra 10-20-30k doesn't matter to someone who has already decided to purchase a 60k+ car, why does MB sell any S430s at all?...why don't all the S buyers get the S500 (or higher)? Why does BMW sell alot of 745s? Why don't all the BMW buyers get the 760?
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    You said that ljflx's comparing an LS430's "euro" option to the base Mercedes S "isn't a fair comparision"...even though, as he pointed out, the "euro" is FREE to any LS buyer who cares for it.

    Well, if you are into "fair" comparisons, can you see that fairness is why I brought up the S280? Someone was trying to compare performance of the S500 to the LS430, and my point is that its unfair to compare the LS performance to a car that costs 46% more. It isn't even that fair to compare the LS to the S430, since the S430 costs 31% more (though the LS nonetheless beats at 0-60 and in HP and torque). I was saying that if MB sold the S280 in the US, it might (based on UK price differentials between the S430 and S280) cost the same as the LS430. And THAT would be a "fair comparison" (to use your words).
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    You asked "where can I get a LS430 for just over 40K". I don't know either. Maybe you should read posts more carefully if you are going to reply to them, because I never suggested anything less than 55K for an LS.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    They named the BMW 7-series "2003 All-Star Luxury Car Over $40,000". In 2002 it was the LS430. In 2001 it was the LS 430.

    There are probably some MB fans who are thinking, "if they didn't pick the S, Automobile Magazine's criteria must be flawed". Hardly. It just means that their criteria are DIFFERENT from yours, not necessarily "right" or "wrong".

    I have always said that Lexus tilts toward luxury over sport. ljflx has said that in his opinion, the LS with euro suspension "easily outhandles" the base S. But we also know that Lexus doesn't do anything like the S55 or S600. So I think is fair to say the the LS (base) starts more on the luxury side of the spectrum and MB (S55) can be had more on the sport side, and that there might be some overlap in the middle (LS euro vs S base).

    If an individual buyer's definition of the ideal car is tilted more toward luxury and less toward sport, he can get an LS non-euro and it can be "best" FOR HIM. If his definition of the ideal car is more sporty, he can get an MB sport edition or S55 or BMW or whatever, and it can be "best" FOR HIM. Trying to espouse that either the S or LS is objectively better for EVERYONE is just plain silly.
  • bluestar1bluestar1 Posts: 112
    "If an individual buyer's definition of the ideal car is tilted more toward luxury and less toward sport, he can get an LS non-euro and it can be "best" FOR HIM. If his definition of the ideal car is more sporty, he can get an MB sport edition or S55 or BMW or whatever, and it can be "best" FOR HIM. Trying to espouse that either the S or LS is objectively better for EVERYONE is just plain silly."

    syswei: very well put indeed !

    At the very least, your point here avoids the subjective considerations of looks and aestethics that are often touted here when doing LS_vs_S_vs_7 comparos. I certainly don't see anyone arguing against this position that syswei articulated (eloquently, imo) above here.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Merc,
      I don't remember talking about 6 Cylinder MB cars..What I did take issue with is comparing a LS430 to an E Class. I'll leave that argument alone for the moment.

      The hyperbole on the part of the MB enthusiasts on this board is amazing. "Lexus is no comparison for the S class" Really? If the LS was SOO inferior then no one would buy one! What you MB guys keep missing is that that None of these cars are made for heavy performance driving. The average buyer of a LS is a 57 yr old Executive making $125K + a year. (Source Lexus Website) We're hardly the Indy Car Racing Group. None of these cars whether it be a LS, or S class can beat the true Performance Lux cars out there, such as the M5 or XJR.

    As of yet, all this bashing about the Lexus lacking a "Solid" ride is purely Subjective. I always have pointed to Objective stats to point out that Lexus is at parity in nearly all areas.
    The only thing MB loyalists can complain about is the overly Smooth ride (Is that a bad thing?) and bland design. Basically, it's Snobbery. You guys are like the Old Gentlemen's Club thumbing your nose at the younger generation.

    I paid $67K for my LS430, and $51k back in 1992, for my 92 LS400..If I really wanted a S class, like any LS owner, I could afford one. Like my fellow LS owners out there, we've gladly taken the $10k + we've saved and laughed to the bank!

    We've gotten a car that more reliable than anything on the road. Oh! you Benz loyalists moan, "The LS430 is SO unoriginal will get SMOKED by the S Class" The LS has a potent V-8 and drivetrain that will keep at or near parity with it's competitors. As for Originality, look at the newest Lexus designs. I'd say they are pretty original. Keep in Mind Lexus is only a 13 yr old company. You'd ought to give them credit for completely shaking up the Lux car industry. Now that Toyota has given Lexus their own identity in Japan, we ought to see them carve ought their identity in the coming years. As for now, I think I'll take my $10K and superior ownership experience thank you very much.

    With Lexus you get superb customer service and one hell of a car..These performance characteristics mean nothing on the Real road. What % of MB, BMW, or Lexus owner race their cars? I'd say the majority of them are primarily commuter cars, and are seldom raced. Who wants to debate that?

    Cheers,
    SV
  • boo20boo20 Posts: 85
    There are many things you said that I disagree with but let me focus on just one point you made that is easily refuted. Consider your contention that "You guys are like the Old Gentlemen's Club thumbing your nose at the younger generation."

    Very interesting. Let's look at the demographics of the average LS vs S class buyer (source is MS Carpoint): The average age of an LS430 buyer is 64. The average age of an S class buyer is 58. So it seems to me that it is the older Lexus owners who are thumbing their noses at the younger MB buyers. Now I wouldn't make a big deal out of this and claim that this means anything other than refuting your contention that buying an MB as opposed to buying a Lexus is a manifestation of an older demographic.

    Also you said: "I paid $67K for my LS430, and $51k back in 1992, for my 92 LS400..If I really wanted a S class, like any LS owner, I could afford one. Like my fellow LS owners out there, we've gladly taken the $10k + we've saved and laughed to the bank!"

    I'm sure you could afford either one. However, once again, lets look at the demograhics here (again, MS Carpoint is the source): The average yearly income of an LS buyer is 186,000. The average yearly income of an S class buyer is 284,000. At 90 K an S class is 50% of a typical Lexus buyers yearly income. I'm sure that many people in this group have settled for the Lexus because they couldn't afford the more expensive MB. Another way to look at it is that, although if you can afford an S class you can afford an LS, the opposite is not necessarily true.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    What is the average and median age of the LS and S class buyer?
  • boo20boo20 Posts: 85
    bz4: unless I missed it somewhere MS Carpoint does not tabulate both of these but simply states "age". So technically I'm not sure if this is mean (as I assumed) or median age.

    I should also add that Lexus' styling and marketing stategy makes more sense now that we understand the demographics of the luxury car buyer: Lexus is trying to appeal to an older, less affluent, group. Nothing wrong with that. It's just different than the average MB buyer. This appeal to an older buyer is probably why Lexus styling is so consistently more "conservative" and less exciting and innovative, if you will, than that of MB.

    To elaborate on my point about income and affordability consider the following: If Lexus raised the price of the LS430 to the level of the S class would they sell more or fewer cars than they do now? What do you think? My guess is FEWER because they have now priced their "average" buyer out of the market. This makes the success of cars (which some percieve to have "lessor value") such as the S class all the more amazing.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    You've misinterpreted what I said. MB as a car company is the Old Gentlemen's Club. I wasn't referring to the age of the owners. Lexus as portrayed is the young upstart. I was in fact referring to the Snobbery of the MB community.

    You're taking the highest price of an S500 at $90K. I don't know what % of S class sales are 90K S500's (Merc do you know?) but my point was, anyone paying 65K+ for a LS can afford an S class MB (Perhaps a S430 or lower End S500)

    The LS debuted at $35K in 1990. I distinctly remember a MB VP complaining on PBS that Toyota was selling them for a $10K loss as they thought it cost $45K to build. By the time I bought mine it was $51K. (All taxes included) You'd think people might have been discouraged, as Lexus as a brand name was still very vulnerable at that point. But the rising prices didn't deter anyone.
    Reason? The original LS was better than the competition in the early 1990's. People paid the price, b/c it still was a bargain relatively.

    A purely speculative point on my part..

    How many Lux car buyers pay cash for their cars? (Open question to the board) I can imagine many leasing, or simply financing these days. Old timers like me prefer to pay cash, but I don't think this is universally true anymore. The Lexus dealer always points out to me in negotiation that they make more money on Leases and financing, than straight out cash transactions like mine.

    Essentially the post was hitting at this point. Criticisms of Feel and design are purely Subjective. 0-60 times, Indycar handling, feel of Suspension have very little relevance to Real World driving. I sincerely doubt the majority of Lux owners race their cars where these specs might make a difference. I rarely can even hit 90+ on Massachusetts roads. These statistics are essentially Marketing fodder for the Auto equivalent of Pilot's Bull Sessions.

    The points of Unparalled reliablity and superior customer service ARE applicable to the Real World. I don't have time to waste waiting for a service to be completed or having to deal with irritating defects/glitches.

    A real world example:
    Ever since my 92 LS was damaged in the accident, my Lexus dealer has provided me with a Loaner and is taking care of everything..(Insurance providing OEM parts, Body Shop hassles, and ensuring everything is done to my satisifaction). They are even going to drop off the car at my convenience fully detailed. A major headache has been reduced to a minor annoyance. That's called service.

    I'm surprised that the MB loyalists fail to see the draw of Lexus. Lexus appeals to the affluent driver seeking a No Hassle experience. For the money I've spent on 3 LS cars in 11 yrs I've got a completely hassle free experience. The US workforce boasts the highest productivity rate in the whole world, so it's no wonder many affluent buyers opt for Lexus.

    I invite my Fellow LS owners to chime in on this. Do you agree with my perspective? Also, Why did you buy your LS?

    Cheers,
    SV
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    For what it's worth (not much), here's my take on the S-class vs. LS debate.

    The Lexus is clearly the leader in reliability and dependability. How much that is important to you in a luxury sedan is a personal decision, but I know of many MB loyalists who are less and less enthusiased with what they perceive is the decline in the marquee over the past few years.

    Unless you step up to the S55, the performance difference and driving dynamics are only slightly in favor of the S class, IMO. I agree with sv7887, neither are designed with the enthusiast in mind.

    The LS430 probably isn't going to steal sales from the S-class among those who find the S the standard of projecting personal success. Take that for better or worse.

    I briefly considered the S55 18 months ago, but ended up with an M5. I don't need the extra room of the S class and prefer a crisper handling car. But I never thought I'd end up with a substantially more reliable car to boot. Total number of unscheduled maintenance trips in 18 months: 1 for a check engine light that came on by mistake the 1st week I owned the car. None in 32k miles since.

    So, is the S class worth the premium over the LS430? Perhaps to some. But to others, the LS430 is a heck of a good car that is unlikely to frustrate you with more trips to the dealer than you really want to make.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    The average age of an LS430 buyer is 64 years old?? Lexus is aiming at an older less affluent crowd?? Where do you get your information from? Perhaps from MB execs that want the rest of the world to think that. Lexus aim is dead on MB and has been for 12+ yeasr now. They are jabbing a bit at BMW with the IS and GS but that is a sideshow to the main event. Maybe on the next go round they will make the GS go after the E which is what it should have done in the first place. As for the LS430 they are targeting the exact same demograpics that MB is shopping for. Now please lets stop kidding ourselves. People making $125k can't so easily afford an LS430. The crowd buying the car is for the most part a $200-250k and up crowd - same as an S-class.

    I thought I remember reading last year that the average age of all car buyers for BMW was 49, MB was 53 and Lexus was 54.
  • bluestar1bluestar1 Posts: 112
    Sedan sales stats for the US market as of July 2003 can be found in the URL below:

    http://www.autosite.com/editoria/asmr/svsedan.asp

    IMO, it is a waste of time trying to argue which is better. These are all fine cars. More importantly, no mind will be changed in the debate. Just enjoy your LS's and be happy.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    >> These are all fine cars. More importantly, no mind will be changed in the debate. <<

    YES!!!

    :-)
  • boo20boo20 Posts: 85
    You state "The average age of an LS430 buyer is 64 years old?? Lexus is aiming at an older less affluent crowd?? Where do you get your information from?"

    Where did I get my information from? Go back and read my post #2974 where I give my source as Microsoft Carpoint not MB executives.

    Also you state "People making $125k can't so easily afford an LS430. " Read that post again. I didn't say that they made 125 K. I said that they made 186 K. That would make the Lexus less than 1/3 of their yearly income. My source for this contention (once again) was MS Carpoint.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    It still doesn't make a difference if the LS430's "Euro" option doesn't cost anything because the S430 or S500 is still going to cost more anyway, so whats the difference? You're not comparing cars of equal specification. Thats like me saying the E500 Sport outhandles the regular LS430, that simply isn't a fair comparision.

    I really think you're making to broad of a statement when it comes to the press. They do care about price. Haven't you noticed where a Mercedes gets knocked for costing too much more than it's competion. If not check out the comparo in Road and Track (I think two months ago) in which the SL500 came in forth, behind a Cadillac, Jaguar and a Porsche...due to price. Clearly the car would have ranked much higher if weren't for it's 98K price, the number tally confirms this, as the only place the SL really got dinged was in the value equation. They even stated that the SL500 was probably the best all-arounder and best car for everyday, in the test. You seem to equate a comparison test with only being a track meet, and that simply isn't so. How can they talk about reliability when they only have the cars for a few days, or a week? In order for them to include that into their deliberations they'd have to keep all 5 cars for a months and months. Not feasible. Their tests are to gauge a cars abilities, and yes they do drive the cars out in the real world. It just appears by the posts in this thread that when they slam an Audi A8 they're so right, but when a Lexus gets knocked for not being anything special to drive they don't know what they're talking about, or at least they aren't being through enough. Thats a double standard. The best example of this is the SC430 vs the segment.

    Yes I'll wager about the 7-Series, because I'll be shocked if such a overcomplicated car wins any of the inevitable comparisions between the new LS, S, A8, and XJ. We should start seeing these next month, I'd say. Seriously, I'd be shocked if it does win, the car is a ergonomic mess. If they put it over simply because it handles better your point will be made, at least with that publication.

    Also, check out some of the British mags take on the 7-Series. (I don't know if anyone here reads magazines like CAR, Topcar or EVO, but I think anyone that doesn't is missing the best automotive writing to be read today.) Anyway, I don't think I've seen the 7-Series win yet in one of their tests, its either the S-Class, XJ or A8 that come out on top, most of the time. Now I already see the A8 loosing over here, at least in a C&D comparo since they've pretty much said that they don't care much for the car because of it's ride. MT has a comparo of the XJ8 and the A8L in their Nov issue, btw.

    I disagree with you on the demographic between the S and LS. They are not the same. Their has to be a difference between the average LS (55-60K) sold and the average S-Class (73-85K) sold. There is no way this is the same exact group of people. A lot of people that like the LS430 are stepping up from GS and RX models and the S-Class is hardly ever mentioned due to it's starting price. I realize you can "take" a loaded S500 later this morning if you choose, but from what I've seen that isn't the case with *most* LS430 buyers.

    No I didn't get to attend the AMG event, it was sold out. There is always next year huh?

    syswei,

    You're talking about a car that isn't sold here for one, the S280. Next up, who is doing all the comparing between the LS430 and the S500, Lexus is. Lexus is the one billing the LS430 as the S-Class competitor so the imaginary comparison with a S280 is really pointless.

    It's not Mercedes' fault that Lexus tries to cover two different segments with the LS430, which by the way is a wise strategy in most respects. None of the full size luxury cars are the same in price as the LS430, not the A8, 7 or S. Only the base XJ8 is in the same ballpark.

    My point about the Automobile Magazine award is that the price cutoff it way too low because you can't get a S-Class, 7-Series or LS430 for anywhere near 40K.

    "There are probably some MB fans who are thinking, "if they didn't pick the S, Automobile
     Magazine's criteria must be flawed"

    Not hardly, I'd suggest you read back to their 2000 issue in which they picked the S-Class for that very same award. Didn't say their criteria is wrong, just that the price cutoff is misleading.

    sv7887,

    Now I've said a lot of things, but I don't recall ever saying that the LS is no competition for the S-Class, that must be an actual owner saying that. Lets just say that if you think the LS' design is "original" I'll just cut this short by saying that I completely disagree with that. I don't see anyone complaining about the LS430 having an "overly smooth" ride. What I do see people complaining about is the control of the body and the handles that results from that compared to a German car. Who is going to complain about a smooth ride if the handling is up to snuff, that doesn't make sense. You're saying that suspension feel doesn't matter? You're kidding right? That is what makes a car "drive" the way it does. German cars have this in spades, hence their following. Nobody is saying that any of these cars have "Indycar" handling. You're blowing it out of proportion. If feel didn't matter then Lexus owners wouldn't harp about how smoothly their cars ride. In all these cars, from Audi to Mercedes to Cadillac and Infinfi, "feel" is what people look for in their first test drive. The ideal ride/handling mix is what will be debated forever, I personally just like Mercedes' take on the question. Just like Jaguar, Audi, BMW and Cadillac have their own definition of this.

    Styling and design are personal things and it's easy for a Lexus owner to dismiss these as a grip because that is what the car is least good at. Just like MB fans don't see surveys as being the bible.

    I'm not sure what the ratio is between the S430 and the S500, since 2002. Now before that, especially upon it's debut in spring of 1999, they sold almost equally. I do know that the previous S500 outsold the S420 by a pretty good margin from 1992-1999.

    M
  • oac3oac3 Posts: 373
    You wrote: "Styling and design are personal things and it's easy for a Lexus owner to dismiss these as a grip because that is what the car is least good at. Just like MB fans don't see surveys as being the bible"

    I disagree !

    One (looks and styling) is subjective (personal opinion); the other (surveys) is objective (many opinions)

    Think about how developed countries conduct business, politics, policies, etc. Many decisions are based on formal and informal surveys. For example, there is incontrovertible evidence that smoking leads to lung cancer ! How do we know ? Bcos a vast amount of data and records (statistical surveys) exist that show a correlation of long years of smoking to emphysema (?) and other lung diseases. That you and other Merc fans choose not to accept surveys that cast your brand in a weak position is only ignoring the obvious. OTOH, DCX is quite concerned about its current lack-lustre reliability issues with 300+ repairs per 100 cars over 3 years (2000-date). That ain't something to be proud of especially if you are behind the likes of Ford in this area. Yikes!
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Merc,
      I wasn't accusing you of saying a LS was no match for the S class. That accusation was meant for someone else. :) I haven't said anywhere that the LS design is original. However, I did say the newest Lexus designs seem to be. I'm using examples of the RX330, ES, and GX. The pictures of the new GS seem to corroborate my point.

    "What I do see people complaining about is the control of the body and the handles that results from that compared to a German car. Who is going to complain about a smooth ride if the handling is up to snuff, that doesn't make sense. You're saying that suspension feel doesn't matter? You're kidding right? That is what makes a car "drive" the way it does. German cars have this in spades, hence their following."

    Question is, do LS owners complain about this? Using your argument, it can be said that the LS followers in fact DO like their smooth rides. I think it's the German followers who have a problem with it, not the LS owners.

    I'm not a suspension expert, but I'm going to guess that you probably sacrifice the smoothness of a ride when you go for sharper handling. (Correct me if I'm wrong) You make it sound like the LS handles like the 747 while the German cars handle like a F-22. Having driven both cars, the difference is perceptive, but not especially drastic. I really think this whole Handling issue is greatly blown out of proportion. I've said this repeatedly, those seeking a superb performance car would probably opt for a M5 or XJR. Also, unless you plan on racing these cars, it's just a pointless argument.

    As for Demographics..The avg price of a LS isn't 55-60K. Even the typical base model is $58K. The common midrange one will cost around $65-67K. (I'm sure these prices have changed somewhat since I bought mine in '02). At $67K it's not that big of a step to an S430. Those paying $73K probably can step up to the base S500. That's all that I was trying to accomplish.

    I preach about JDP and CU assessment b/c they consider the practical aspects of owing the car. I've always found that the testing criteria of Car and Driver and others to be unrealistic. Like I'm really going to take corners at 100+ MPH..

    Does anyone know what percentage of these cars are leased and financed?

    SV
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Lexus is going to be first to market among luxury companies, and here is a bit about the performance benefits: "...several Formula One teams had started to build cars around the hybrid approach. Before the cars could ever reach the track, though, FIA, the Formula One governing body banned this solution...the teams with hybrid engines would have had acceleration capabilities that would have put hybrid cars way out in front." The quote is from http://en.lexus-hybrid.com/home.html
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    The latest issue of Consumer Reports(Nov. 03) has a comparison of 5 luxury sedans(Audi A8L,BMW 745Li,Jaguar XJ8,Lexus430 and Mercedes S430). Although I don't consider CR's auto reviews too relevant for auto enthusiasts I do read some of them out of interest and like to see their ratings on reliabilty.
     They rate the Lexus # 1 with the Mercedes a close 2nd. BMW is last. What is more interesting is their comments on the highs and lows of each.
    The Lexus gets high marks for "ride,quietness,powertrain refinement,fit and finish,reliability,turning circle and ergonomics" and lows in "agility" with a comment that "body lean in corners is pronounced,steering lacks feedback and while the car was secure in our emergency-handling tests it didn't shine." I would say that these are the negatives I have found when test driving the car in the past. If the Euro tuned suspension makes as large a difference as posters on this board have indicated I will try one with an open mind.
     The Mercedes highs were "ride,handling,quietness,rear seat" and lows were "reliability and cup holders". CR would not recommend the Mercedes because the predicted reliabilty was poor (solid black circle). I think this last issue is crucial for Mercedes to address and will be the determining point for me for future Mercedes purchases.
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